Revealed: David Walliams and Simon Cowell's friendship 'on the rocks' as sources claim there's 'some distance between them' after axed comic sues Britain's Got Talent for 'leaking details of his X-rated rant about contestants'

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  • Sources say the comic, who left the show in 2022, is no longer as close to Cowell

David Walliams and Simon Cowell’s friendship appears to be on the rocks as the comic sues his former bosses at Britain’s Got Talent – ten months after he was axed from his £1.5million-a-year role as a judge. 

The comedian is seeking significant damages from London-based Fremantle, which produces the reality series for ITV, with legal paperwork suggesting he is accusing bosses of leaking details of his rude comments to a newspaper. 

Court papers lodged at the High Court in London last Thursday, under his real name of David Williams, accuse the firm of data protection breach over the leaked transcript which prompted a swift end to ten year long stint as a judge on the show.

While Walliams, 52, is not suing the programme’s boss Simon Cowell, it is understood that there is now ‘some distance’ between the two men, according to sources close to them both.

Walliams, who is worth around £17million, quit the show last November, two weeks after he was caught calling an elderly contestant a ‘c***’ during a break in filming. 

David Walliams and Simon Cowell's friendship appears to have hit the rocks as the comic is suing his former bosses at Britain's Got Talent - ten months after he was axed from his £1.5million-a-year role as a judge

David Walliams and Simon Cowell’s friendship appears to have hit the rocks as the comic is suing his former bosses at Britain’s Got Talent – ten months after he was axed from his £1.5million-a-year role as a judge

Walliams, who is worth around £17million, quit the show last November, two weeks after he was caught calling an elderly contestant a 'c***' during a break in filming

Walliams, who is worth around £17million, quit the show last November, two weeks after he was caught calling an elderly contestant a ‘c***’ during a break in filming

Walliams, 52, is not suing the programme's boss Simon Cowell, it is understood that there is now 'some distance' between the two men, according to sources

Walliams, 52, is not suing the programme’s boss Simon Cowell, it is understood that there is now ‘some distance’ between the two men, according to sources

He was also heard disparaging a female contestant, calling her a ‘slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t’.

Comedian Clare Harrison Mccartney later claimed these comments were about her and branded Walliams a ‘sad misogynist’, but producers on the show denied the remarks were aimed at her.

Bruno Tonioli later took over from him on the talent show, signing a big money deal. 

A source told The Sun about David’s decision to leave at the time: ‘He hasn’t taken the decision lightly, but it just feels like time to move on.’ 

‘David has decided to bow out after a ten-year run. He wants to leave on a high after a wonderful time. 

‘His team have quietly been having conversations over the past few days where it has been made clear that David is readying himself to step down – and then producers will start to think about who might replace him.’

The star has hired legal company Brandsmiths, who specialise in data protection breaches.

David Walliams quit Britain's Got Talent after ten years on the judging panel, weeks after he apologised for making vile remarks about a contestant

David Walliams quit Britain’s Got Talent after ten years on the judging panel, weeks after he apologised for making vile remarks about a contestant

The comedian and author is now set to sue the show's producers over an alleged data breach, according to reports

The comedian and author is now set to sue the show’s producers over an alleged data breach, according to reports

Walliams was axed from the show after makin vile remarks about contestants, including one female competitor. Comedian Clare Harrison McCartney (pictured) claimed she was the subject of the these remarks, although this has been denied by BGT producers

Walliams was axed from the show after makin vile remarks about contestants, including one female competitor. Comedian Clare Harrison McCartney (pictured) claimed she was the subject of the these remarks, although this has been denied by BGT producers

READ MORE HERE:  David Walliams celebrates his 52nd birthday with a VERY extravagant dinner as he parties with pals including Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Michael Caine

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Reports earlier this year claimed that Walliams quit BGT after the lewd and rude comments which he made during filming the show at the London Palladium in 2020 were exposed.

However, sources at the time suggested that he was actually pushed after a crisis management team was drafted in by Fremantle to manage the scandal which led to the former Little Britain comic apologising.

The comments, made in January 2020 during auditions at the London Palladium, were picked up on the programme’s microphones.

He and his lawyers argued at the time that they were private conversations that were never intended for broadcast but two weeks later he was ousted. 

In one incident, an older performer engaged in light-hearted banter with the judges in which he made a jibe about Walliams, an expose by The Guardian claimed.

After the audition, the pensioner left, after which Walliams is said to have described him as a ‘c**t’ three times.

In a separate incident, after a female contestant had walked off stage, Walliams remarked: ‘She’s like the slightly boring girl you meet in the pub that thinks you want to f*** them, but you don’t.’ He later added: ‘I know, she’s just like: ‘Oh, f*** off!’ I was saying, she thinks you want to f*** her, but you don’t.

‘It’s the last thing on your mind, but she’s like: ‘Yep, I bet you do!’

‘No I don’t! I had a bit of a b***r, but now it’s going, it’s now shrivelled up inside my body.’

Walliams, pictured here at the Dermot O'Leary Breakfast Show in April this year, is said to have described a contestant as a 'c**t' three times

Walliams, pictured here at the Dermot O’Leary Breakfast Show in April this year, is said to have described a contestant as a ‘c**t’ three times

Time for change: Alan will be joining Amanda, Simon Cowell and Alesha Dixon on the judging panel

He’s off! The comedian (pictured in 2012) is set to leave the ITV show ahead of its 2023 series, weeks after he was forced to apologise for describing an elderly contestant as a ‘c***’

Shocking: David left BGT after he described an elderly contestant as a c*** and made vile sexual remarks about a female who was also competing on the show

Shocking: David left BGT after he described an elderly contestant as a c*** and made vile sexual remarks about a female who was also competing on the show

A comedian and impressionist who appeared on the show in 2020 claimed the remarks made by Walliams were about her.

READ MORE HERE:  Comedian claims she was target of ‘misogynist’ BGT judge who joked she was ‘boring’ but ‘wanted to f**k him’

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Clare Harrison Mccartney initially retweeted criticism of Walliams, but then posted on Twitter: ‘Those comments from #DavidWalliams were about me in this audition. I certainly wasn’t putting out f-me vibes to David Walliams, that’s in his mind. What a misogynist thinking all women fancy him.’

She added: ‘As if I didn’t feel low enough after that audition and he’s implying I fancied him – don’t flatter yourself Walliams. I only went on BGT to try for a better life because I’m skint in a council flat, you sad misogynist.’

It is not clear how Ms Harrison Mccartney would have known she was the target of the remarks, and a spokeswoman for Fremantle UK denied they were about her.

After the transcript was released a source at Britain’s Got Talent told the Mail it ‘could not have come at a worse time’ for Walliams as his deal to return to the show had not been finalised. 

They added: ‘David’s remarks have now become a huge part of the conversation.

‘He hasn’t signed any deal yet which has come as a relief because now there are options.

‘It is a family show and this isn’t just a negative thing to happen, it is offensive to people.’

Walliams, one of the UK’s best-known television personalities and children’s book authors, was forced to apologise for his outbursts – but insisted that they were private conversations.

In a statement given to the Guardian after the transcripts were revealed, Walliams said: ‘I would like to apologise to the people I made disrespectful comments about during breaks in filming for Britain’s Got Talent in 2020.

‘These were private conversations and – like most conversations with friends – were never intended to be shared. Nevertheless, I am sorry.’

However, it was confirmed weeks later that he would not be returning to the show.

ITV said at the time that it did not ‘condone’ the language used and had spoken to producers of BGT.

Walliams, who joined the talent show in 2012 and scooped three Best Judge honours at the National TV Awards, was later replaced by former Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli.

Fremantle declined to comment.

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